It seems lately there’s been more open discussion about miscarriages which is a tremendous step in the right direction. But it’s also only part of the fight – while miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, it’s not the only type. I’ve come to realize recently that while I tend to use the term pregnancy loss almost exclusively, many others do not. And the difference? They’ve suffered a miscarriage. I have not.
I’ve spent the last 2 years advocating for awareness, discussion, and support regarding pregnancy loss and in the process I’ve told my story numerous times , but I almost always refer to it the same way: as “my loss.” Because how exactly do you talk to people about your decision to terminate for medical reasons? If miscarriage is the secret that people whisper to one another then TFMR is the stealth mission never to be spoken about again.
TFMR is different than a miscarriage…not worse, just different. In general people are aware of what a miscarriage is but they don’t know – and often times certainly don’t understand – what TFMR is. My pregnancy loss experience is not the same as many other women yet I keep lumping it all together because after all, a loss is a loss, right?
I can’t relate to the articles about miscarriage. I never had spontaneous bleeding. I never went in for an ultrasound and didn’t hear a heartbeat. I never had the option of letting my body handle it naturally. #IHadAPregnancyLoss or #ITFMR just don’t carry the same weight as #IHadAMiscarriage. Let me tell you, it’s an odd position to be in. There’s something very strange about feeling left out of a club no one ever wanted to be a part of in the first place.
I want to talk about TFMR but it too is isolating. In the same way I can’t fully understand having a miscarriage, most people can’t understand my experience. Many don’t have any interest in even trying and of those who have gone through it, many don’t want to talk about it publicly. You don’t see magazine headlines that say “I terminated my pregnancy” or “I had an abortion.”
At the end of the day, it tends to be a lonely feeling no matter what I do and I imagine that’s just the nature of this journey. I don’t know what the answer is or if there’s any way to change that. What I do know is that I can continue to share my story but also try to explain and teach, not just retell. I don’t need a crowd of empathizers or a national publication to spread awareness (although that certainly wouldn’t hurt!)
All I need is myself and the reminder that my loss important too.